General Question

prolificus's avatar

How has the Internet affected your spiritual life?

Asked by prolificus (6583points) March 14th, 2010 from iPhone

When I was younger, my internal dialogue with my Higher Power seemed to be more frequent and evident of my dependency on something outside of my mental reasoning. If I needed to understand things unknown to me and things not easily answered by asking others or by looking in resources at hand, I would seek insight from my God.

Sometimes I wonder if the immediacy  of communication and wealth of knowledge found on the Internet has affected my spiritual intimacy with the Divine.  I have no conclusions, as I’m still processing.

Has your use of the Internet positively or negatively affected your spiritual intimacy with your Higher Power?

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28 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It hasn’t affected it at all.I know how I think :)

davidbetterman's avatar

The internet is further proof of the existence of your Higher Power.

HTDC's avatar

Fortunately (or unfortunately?) the internet is my higher power.

Just_Justine's avatar

not really God works through people, well some anyway loll.

ucme's avatar

Higher power? Well the wife let’s me know if I’m online too long.(Feels back of head,ouch)

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

Some people believe the Internet may play an integral role in bringing about the Singularity. If we believe both this and that the believe in the Singularity is spiritual (and I don’t think I believe either) then we would have established a link for millions of people.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It has opened up a plethora of new information that I had never imagined existed. The sights like are an amazing resource.

Nullo's avatar

Having my faith routinely challenged online has actually strengthened it. Thanks, Netizens!

BabylonFree's avatar

I can seek & find truth from all sources around the world not just one.

Cruiser's avatar

I have been able to find really good incense and mala beads on the internet!

starshine's avatar

@prolificus you say “my God,” do you mean that posesively and in a loving way, or do you mean your god is your personal point of worship, and not necessarily anyone else’s?
Just curious.

cookieman's avatar

Only in so much as it was a relief to meet people (here on Fluther) who thought as I did about religion.

filmfann's avatar

Only in that I feel more open about sharing my religious feelings here, than in real life.
Perhaps it will help me do that.

Blondesjon's avatar

It’s made me much more tolerant of other’s beliefs.

It allowed me to take a step back and see how assholes from both sides go out of their way to shit on anyone else’s beliefs that don’t agree with theirs. This goes for religious and non-religious assholes.

I may be an asshole but I’m not that asshole.

prolificus's avatar

@starshine – as in a familiar, loving way.

liminal's avatar

I lean away from breaking myself down into compartments. I don’t see myself as having a spiritual life that can be lived or not lived. I see myself as a whole spiritual being and everything I do is a reflection of that. As with anything, the internet can be a tool that leads me away or towards my experience of Divinity and I hesitate to put a label of morality on that movement.

There are times that I think my time spent exploring it detracts my energy from people and things. There are times when I am struggling with depression and it offers me a soothing or an escape. There are many more times when it allows me to express/discover vitality and connection.

Berserker's avatar

I don’t think it’s ever affected what little spirituality I have ever had, if any.

prolificus's avatar

@liminal – I agree with your thoughts on compartments and how you approach your spirituality. I’m similar in practice. But, I notice that it is easier to research my questions on the Internet than it is to pray. Easier as in taking less time to seek and wait, etc.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

The internet has given me laughs and information on religion that has only strengthened my Atheism – thanks Netizens!

liminal's avatar

@prolificus For me, there is only difference in expression. Typing, waiting, rushing, silence, singing, cooking, breathing, questioning, listening, speaking, yelling, dancing, loving, etc… is prayer.

prolificus's avatar

@liminal – yes. Everything can be prayer. But you mean to tell me that you never tune out prayer, and tune in other things? Can you honestly tell me that there is not a second that passes where your undivided attention is focused on mental processing and is not inclusive of prayer? Are you one of those people who live, breathe, eat communion with the Divine and never have an ounce of energy diverted elsewhere?

I’m curious to know if your spiritual life has changed in any way, shape, or form since your involvement with the Internet. You mean to tell me that the Internet has not affected your relationship with the Divine in any conceivable way?

liminal's avatar

@prolificus Why is ‘communion’ with my sense of Divinity dependent on my being attuned?

People communicate all the time whether or not they are paying attention. Sure, I have focused times of awareness, but I don’t see them as anything different than the times I don’t pay attention. They both ‘speak’ something.

I just watched my daughter drawing a picture in her room…very unaware of my presence. The picture was about how unhappy she is at the moment, I was there, I heard her, she has no clue that I was noticing, and it spoke volumes to me. I plan on bringing it up during one of our focused conversations. :)

I like being aware. I feel centered when I am being aware, so I enjoy moving in awareness and appreciate the gift of it. Yet, I don’t think it is my awareness that brings things about, it just means I’ve tuned in to what’s happening.

Yes, like I said, the internet is something that can lead me away or toward my sense of Divinity. Then I gave three examples. Here is a little more…

My life has been dynamically influenced by the internet. I know one of the people I love most in this world because of it. I have gained all sorts of knowledge and seen things that make me want to wash my eyes out with bleach. They have carved into my life. Since I say I am a spiritual being and ‘everything’ is part of that, it follows, (to my mind) that everything affects me spiritually, not just the internet.

jazmina88's avatar

i am able to reach more on the internet, with my own spirituality, through FB and now fluther.

prolificus's avatar

@liminal – GA! I’m ponderding your response.

I guess what I’m focused on is the immediacy of information found on the Internet, and how it affects the waiting and listening involved with being in relationship with the Divine.

I suppose shutting off access to the Internet is the easiest way to limit the immediacy of information. But the problem, for me, is that I have been conditioned to the immediacy. This has affected my level of patience and willingness to “be still and know.”

SABOTEUR's avatar

“You teach what you most need to learn.”

I’ve allowed my internet usage to strengthen my ego.

I was once more inner directed
and contemplative.

I nurtured my spirit inspirational books
and meditation.

Now I’m content to watch tv
and click a mouse.

I do sometimes get to share with others
various lessons I’ve learned
which serve to remind me of
where I need to be.

ninjacolin's avatar

i would say that it’s helped me to clarify my spiritual stance in my own head.

mattbrowne's avatar

I met spiritual atheists which I might not have met offline.

prolificus's avatar

The jury is still out on this question for me… I am still paying attention to how it seems like I’m more apt to consult the Internet than to ask God for whatever. Maybe it’s a good thing, though, to work through my noticing how I am relying less on God for trivial things. Maybe it will open the door for me to rely on God for less trivial things.

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